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New Year's Eve in Krakow

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Krakow is getting ready to say goodbye to 2007 with its annual New Year's Eve party on Rynek Glowny. But this is not the only way to spend this magic night in Krakow. Last year's Krakow Council New Year's party expenses reached 1.5 bln zloty. This year's sum has not been released due to commercial confidentiality, but it is expected to be higher still.
 
Krakow Council in association with Polsat television is holding a party for an estimated 140,000 people in the town square. Musical entertainment will vary from the hits of the 60s to present ones performed by popular Polish artists such as Budka Suflera and Bajm. "Some people seem puzzled when they see the diversity of artists billed to perform at this year's party. We want people of all generations to have fun, that's why it's rather a multigenerational event," said Maja Drexler from Krakow's Festival Bureau. "People from all over Poland look forward to the event."
 
The party begins at 20:00 and continues through until 01:30. People with disabilities and their caregivers are catered to, with a special area set aside near the stage. For safety reasons, there are over 800 private security personnel on hand, along with police and city security staff. At midnight, Mayor Majchrowski will welcome in the New Year with fellow Krakowians followed by an enlightening show of fireworks. Special buses and trams have been made available to deliver revelers home after the event. For those who prefer to stay indoors and enjoy the festivities from the comfort of their armchair, Polsat television will be providing live coverage throughout the night. The full list of artists performing on the night is available at: www.biurofestiwalowe.pl.
 
All around Krakow, the city comes alive on the big night with restaurants, pubs and hotels holding parties. In hotels and restaurants, guests can have classy balls with elaborate menus and live music with prices averaging between 200 to 300 zloty per couple, up to 500 zloty or more at the higher end of the market. It is recommended to reserve early, with many events booked a year in advance. If revellers miss out on getting tickets to a private function, there are always boundless clubs and pubs offering simple fare and entertainment on the night. Yet, there is no guarantee of entry with Krakowian's overflowing passion for the night, as the Forum hotel student's party for 1,000 being booked out within weeks bearings testimony. "Right before New Year's Eve, we start getting information from the clubs who want to advertise their parties with our web site," said Maciej Ochalek from www.knajpy.krakow.pl, a pub and clubbing portal. "Some clubs even call us to cancel their ads before the reservation rush starts, as they're already booked out." For those looking for something different this year, there is the underground ball at Wieliczka Salt Mine's ball room. The venue is 125 meters underground with dinner, music and entertainment provided by Piwnica pod Baranami cabaret artists. Then again, revellers can enter the New Year with a splash at Park Wodny aqua park in a Jacuzzi. Outside of Krakow, revellers can begin the New Year with a high in Zakopane with a fireworks show on Gubalowka Mountain. Hotels, pensions or karcma (folklore inns) will have food and folk music on hand before their sleigh ride through the mountains to share the moment with someone special. "We expect around 200,000 people in Zakopane during that time," said Regina Watycka from Zakopane's Promotion Bureau.